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POLITICO New York Energy: Food waste mandate -- Hoosick tables settlement -- Opposition to Shoreham solar -- Indian Point hearings today

By Marie J. French and David Giambusso | 02/28/2017 10:00 AM EDT

Good morning! You are reading a complimentary synopsis of the POLITICO New York Pro Energy newsletter. Pro subscribers receive a premium version of this newsletter, which includes an enhanced look-ahead and robust analysis of the energy news driving the day, weekdays at 5:45 a.m. Contact us here to learn more.

FOOD WASTE MANDATE - POLITICO New York's Marie J. French: Lawmakers and food industry groups say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to reduce the amount of food waste heading to landfills amounts to an unfunded mandate. Cuomo's executive budget includes a measure that would require facilities that produce large amounts of food waste -- supermarkets, restaurants, colleges, hotels, nursing homes, sports stadiums and other venues -- to donate excess food and send any remaining waste to a facility that will compost, recycle or use it to produce energy. The requirement won't go into effect until 2021. "We're not opposed to the underlying intent of this -- reducing food waste seems like a laudable goal, but if its going to create a significant unfunded mandate for providers we have major concerns," said Dan Heim, executive vice president of Leading Age New York, which represents nonprofit and public nursing homes, senior housing, retirement and assisted living facilities. "It's going to cost money to do ... and our members are under significant financial pressure, so we see this as problematic." Waivers will be available for institutions facing hardship, Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Basil Seggos said during a joint budget hearing earlier this month. The phase-in period also allows the DEC and other state agencies to help kick-start a market for food waste, he told lawmakers. Read more here.

HOOSICK TABLES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT - POLITICO's Marie J. French: The Hoosick Falls village board tabled a proposed settlement with two companies being held responsible for polluting the drinking water there with a toxic chemical linked to cancer. The board acted Monday night after an emotional meeting at the village armory where residents and others urged the trustees to vote against it. The board agreed to start the process of getting a loan to cover some of the $850,000 in costs the settlement with the two companies, Saint Gobain and Honeywell, would have covered. Outgoing Mayor David Borge said if the agreement was not approved before the village budget was finalized in mid-March, a large bank loan would be needed to cover expenses. That's why the board shouldn't wait for a new mayor and board to take office in April, he said. Read the report.

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OPPOSITION TO SHOREHAM SOLAR - Newsday's Mark Harrington: "A coalition of lawmakers, civic and environmental groups Monday took aim at a plan to build a solar power plant on woodlands in Shoreham, calling instead for a new state park there." Read more here.


- Judith Enck, former Region 2 EPA administrator, is on this week's episode of New York Now talking about potential disaster at the federal agency.

- Devin Hartman, of the "free market think tank" R Street Institute, writes in UtilityDive that New York's nuclear subsidies don't make economic sense.

- Albany area officials and state lawmakers from the region are pushing an emergency water and wastewater infrastructure proposal.

- Opponents of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nuclear subsidy released an ad mocking the $7.6 billion bailout.

- The Energy Improvement Corporation is issuing a request for qualifications from clean energy companies with plans to expand programs using property assessed clean energy funding. There will be a webinar Thursday.

- National Grid and Utilidata have a REV demo project that aims to cut electricity demand by 3 percent.

- Assemblywoman Addie Jenne from the North Country says Massena electric customers who get NYPA hydropower should be exempt from a requirement to pay for the state's nuclear subsidy.

- What's up with this warm weather? Early migrations of frogs and salamanders start.

SOURCES: TRUMP MAY CUT EPA BUDGET BY 25 PERCENT - POLITICO's Alex Guillén: The White House has proposed slashing EPA's budget by about a quarter and laying off 1 in 5 of the agency's workers, according to sources familiar with the budget proposal sent to EPA on Monday. Read more here.

- Bloomberg reports the EPA cuts will likely target enforcement. Read more here.

ACID OCEAN - The Washington Post's Chelsea Harvey: "The Arctic is suffering so many consequences related to climate change, it's hard to know where to begin anymore. It's warming more rapidly than almost any other part of the planet; its glaciers are melting and its sea ice is retreating; and its most iconic wildlife, including polar bears and walruses, are suffering." Read more here.

BOOM TIMES FOR SAND MINING - The Guardian's Vince Beiser: "Times are good for Fey Wei Dong. A genial, middle-aged businessman based near Shanghai, China, Fey says he is raking in the equivalent of £180,000 a year from trading in the humblest of commodities: sand." Read more here.

SCIENTISTS WEIGH ADVOCACY ROLE - The Washington Post's Chris Mooney: "The political and social consequences of a massive March for Science like the one that may be coming are impossible to predict - much depends on the volume of media coverage and also its tilt." Read more here.

TRUMP TO BEGIN WOTUS ROLLBACKS - POLITICO's Annie Snider and Jenny Hopkinson: President Trump will sign an executive order tomorrow afternoon beginning the process of unwinding the Obama administration's controversial Waters of the U.S. rule, according to an agricultural industry source. Read more here.

ALBERTA MINISTER WARNS AGAINST BORDER TAX - POLITICO's Ben Lefebvre: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley warned today that both the U.S. and Canada will suffer economically if U.S. lawmakers institute a border adjustment tax that hurts the flow of crude from the oil-rich province. Read more here.

CLIMATE BLAMED FOR CHILE LANDSLIDES - Bloomberg's Javiera Quiroga: "Landslides close to the Chilean capital Santiago killed three people over the weekend, while cutting off water supplies to millions of homes, the National Emergency Office said. Another 373 people remain cut off after the rains swept away roads and bridges, said Ricardo Toro, director of Chile's National Emergency Office." Read more here.

NUCLEAR SHUTDOWNS COULD HELP NATURAL GAS - Bloomberg's Jonathan Crawford: "More U.S. nuclear reactors will close for refueling this spring than at any time in nearly two decades creating a power shortage that may lift beaten-down natural gas." Read more here.

HEDGE FUNDS BET HEAVY ON OIL - Bloomberg's Mark Shenk: "Oil has been bound to the tightest price range in more than a decade, and yet hedge funds have never been so confident it will eventually rally." Read more here.

TESLA STOCK SLIDES ON GOLDMAN PESSIMISM - Bloomberg New Energy Finance: "Tesla Inc. fell 5 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. turned negative on the stock and cast doubt on Chairman Elon Musk's ability to deliver the company's new vehicle on time." Read more here.


- Oil prices ended slightly higher Monday as investors weighed strong supply against OPEC cuts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"U.S. crude futures rose 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $54.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, fell 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $55.95 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe."

- Natural gas fell on continued warm weather forecasts, the Journal reports.

"Natural gas for April delivery fell 9.4 cents, or 3.37%, to $2.693 million British thermal units."

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